Tauck to launch three river ships over next two years

After quietly announcing its fleet expansion plans onboard the newly christened Savor in June, Tauck has released more details about its plan to more than double its river capacity by 2016.

In addition to the two Inspiration-class river cruise ships launched this year — the 130-passenger Savor and Inspire — Tauck will introduce a Jewel-class vessel, the Esprit, in early 2015, and two more as-of-yet-unnamed Inspiration-class vessels in 2016.

The additions will bring the number of river cruise vessels Tauck sails to nine, representing a 125% increase in fleet size since last year.

Tauck had originally ordered the Esprit from its Basel, Switzerland-based shipbuilding partner Scylla in 2008, and it was scheduled to enter Tauck’s fleet in 2010.

“However, as the U.S. remained mired in its worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, Tauck deferred delivery of the ship, then little more than a hull, until 2015,” the company said in a statement.

Scylla completed construction of the vessel and has operated it in the interim under another flag. This winter, it will undergo renovations and other upgrades to make the Esprit identical to Tauck’s four other Jewel-class vessels — the company’s class of vessels that preceded its Inspiration class of vessels, introduced this year.

Like the other Jewel-class ships, the 118-passenger Esprit will feature 14 suites at 300 square feet each with marble bathrooms and full-size tubs. The ship will also have seven junior suites at 183 square feet and 38 cabins at 150 square feet. All cabin categories will be outfitted with TVs loaded with in-room movies, minibars, radios, safes and adjustable air conditioning. French balconies will be featured on 85% of the staterooms.

The Esprit will also have a main restaurant, lounge, shop, massage studio and a second, more casual dining venue.

Travel Weekly Europe News

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